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How To File for Divorce in Indiana

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2021 | Family Law

Knowing how to file for divorce in Indiana and understanding what to expect can help the process go more smoothly. While there are steps that are usually involved in filing for divorce, issues may arise that require deviation from the norm. Divorce lawyers can help spouses overcome challenges that may arise and offer legal advice tailored to the couple’s specific circumstances.

Preparing for Divorce in Indiana

When contemplating a divorce, preparing in advance will allow for proactive actions that ensure the best outcome. Indiana divorce lawyers can help ensure that petitions are filed correctly, necessary disclosures are submitted, and deadlines are met throughout the divorce process.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The formal divorce process in Indiana begins by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, Financial Declaration, and other forms required by law. These forms must be filed according to state regulations. Unless the person filing is a member of the military, forms must be filed in the Indiana county of residence.

Service of Process

When one spouse files for divorce, he/she is required to serve the other spouse with a copy of the divorce filing through certified mail, a private process server, or a local sheriff. This is a formal process that sets important timelines for the non-filing spouse. If issues arise when serving the spouse, divorce lawyers can request court assistance.

Financial Disclosures

Filing for divorce in Indiana requires financial disclosures of income, assets, and debts by both spouses. Financial disclosures are necessary to determine an accurate assessment for the division of marital property and assets. Attempts by either spouse to hide income or assets can lead to negative consequences.

Negotiation and Mediation

Private negotiation and mediation settlements through divorce lawyers are commonly used to reach amicable resolutions regarding the division of assets, alimony, child custody, and child support. In some cases, spouses request a provisional hearing before the presiding judge to ask for a formal order regarding financial support and parenting time.

If negotiation and mediation are unsuccessful and spouses can not reach agreements on divorce issues, formal court litigation may be necessary to resolve issues.

Finalizing the Divorce

In Indiana, there is a 60-day waiting period between filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the date when the court can issue the final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. Once the final decree is issued by the court, both spouses are legally bound to the terms of the Divorce Decree.